Repeatability and reproducibility of prospective motion- and shim corrected 2D glycoCEST MRI

Gizeaddis Lamesgin Simegn, Ali Alhamud, Andre J. W. van der Kouwe, Ernesta Meintjes, Frances Robertson

Abstract

Background: Repeated glycoCEST MRI measurements on the same subject should produce similar results under the same environmental and experimental conditions. However, fluctuations in the static B0 field, which may occur between and within measurements due to heating of the shim iron or subject motion, may alter results and affect reproducibility. Here we investigate the repeatability and reproducibility of glycoCEST measurements and examine the effectiveness of a real-time shim- and motion navigated chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) sequence to improve reproducibility.
Methods: In nine subjects, double volumetric navigated (DvNav)-CEST acquisitions in the calf muscle were repeated five times in each of two sessions—the first without correction, and the second with real-time shim- and motion correction applied. In both sessions a dynamically changing field was introduced by running a 5-minute gradient intensive diffusion sequence. We evaluated the effect of the introduced B0 inhomogeneity on the reproducibility of glycoCEST, where the small chemical shift difference between the hydroxyl and bulk water protons at 3 T makes CEST quantification extremely sensitive to magnetic field inhomogeneities.
Results: With real-time shim- and motion correction, glycoCEST results were relatively consistent with mean coefficient of variation (CoV) 2.7%±1.4% across all subjects, whereas without correction the results were less consistent with CoV 84%±71%.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that real-time shim- and motion correction can mitigate effects of B0 field fluctuations and improve reproducibility of glycoCEST data. This is important when conducting longitudinal studies or when using glycoCEST MRI to assess treatment or physiological responses over time.